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October Greetings

October 2, 2013
by

Suite D Dinners are back!

photo by Megan Clouse

Join us for a Sunday Supper on October 13

for Duck Confit Cassoulet

and on October 23 for
the girl & the gaucho Paella PopUp

Click here to see Suite D’s EVENTBRITE profile page showing upcoming events.

The PopUp Dinner Wine Country

Secret Wine Country Location – Saturday, October 19th

As of today, there are limited tickets available. There is still time to order dinner.
Visit the Menu and Wine List Links below to order for more information.

FOR TICKETS      MENUS      WINE LIST
More Info

EVENTS

Through December
Kitchen Memories:
The Kathleen Thompson Hill Culinary Collection
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
Sonoma

October 11
Sonoma Valley Muse
Chuck Williams
Sonoma Community Center Fundraiser at Ramekins

October 13
Sunday Supper
Suite D
Sonoma

October 19
The PopUp Dinner – Wine Country
Secret Location
Wine Country

October 23
the girl & the gaucho
Paella PopUp
Suite D
Sonoma

November 1
An Evening with the girl & the fig, the Olive Press,
Jacuzzi & Cline Wines

Ramekins
Sonoma

November 7
Foodie Film Series
Julie & Julia
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

November 21
Worth our Weight Fundraiser
WOW Café
1021 Hahman Drive
Santa Rosa
707-544-1200 for reservations

November 28
Thanksgiving
the girl & the fig
the fig cafe & winebar

We keep our Public Event Calendar current with new events as they are confirmed. Check the calendar or our Facebook page to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!

 

Notes from Durae:

 

Fall is certainly in the air, and, to make the most of these last few days of sunshine, I made my way to “the fig” for lunch with the family and a little lesson in wines. Our wine list at the fig is certainly unique in exclusively featuring the Rhône, and yet within this hedging there seems to be endless variety! the girl & the fig’s flight tastings are designed to either introduce the guest to a sampling of Rhône varietals—for instance, sips of Roussanne, Marsanne, Mourvèdre and Cinsault—or to delve into the diversity within a varietal, as I did, with the Viognier flight.

The flight was presented in an assortment of daintily cut goblets, with a slip of tasting notes for each wine. Our server joked that there “wouldn’t be a quiz” (whew!!) and we set to tasting. We perused the notes while sipping and comparing, and savored the distinct differences in feel and flavor, and the subtleness of floral aromas and fruit notes. I constantly marvel at the variations in wine and what the winemakers achieve, and am intrigued by such tidbits as whether the grapes were harvested in the dead of night or at sunrise, and how these elements might affect the wine. It was a day that engaged all the senses, brightly colored wines, heavy cut glassware, cool fall air. And paired with some good company, a gorgeous day, and delicious eats, made for another perfect Sonoma afternoon.

Cheers!

Holiday Parties?

photo by Jessamyn Harris

 

It is not too early to start thinking about how you will celebrate the season!
We have several options for you!
The patio at the girl & the fig will be covered once again with a clear tent.
As a private event, it can hold 40 guests.

the fig cafe & winebar is available for a buyout Monday – Friday for lunch for up to 48 guests.
Suite D can seat 45 for lunch or dinner, 60 for a cocktail party.

Contact one of the team members at the girl & the fig CATERS! and they can help customize the perfect event for your family or company party. We can also make suggestions for other locations or even come to your house!

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup
serves 6

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large leek, white part only, cleaned and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2½ pounds Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup heavy cream
1 bunch fresh sage leaves, picked, for garnish
Saba (available at specialty stores), optional for garnish

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, leek, shallots, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Stir the vegetables occasionally to prevent browning. Add the squash to the vegetables and stir. Add 2 quarts of water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the squash is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the heavy cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Remove the vegetables from the heat and purée immediately in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Heat a small amount of blended oil to 300°F and fry the sage leaves until crispy. Transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain and cool.

Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and garnish each with a drizzle of the Saba and a few fried sage leaves.

the farm project

the end of fig season

Visit the farm blog to see what’s growing on. Our friend Anne Abrams updates the Blog weekly and we absolutely love this City Girl’s take on the farm – and great pictures too!

 

September 2013

September 1, 2013
by

For more pictures and stories from Wine Country Weekend
CLICK HERE

 

Leading the way in Wine Country
“Over the past two decades or so, Bernstein has nurtured a thriving food business anchored by her flagship Sonoma restaurant, The Girl & The Fig, known for its French-inspired country cuisine and wine list of mostly Rhone varietals.

She was named the honorary culinary chair for Sonoma Wine Country Weekend along with Phil Coturri, owner of Sonoma’s Enterprise Vineyards, is the honorary winegrower chair; the Gallo family with its E & J Gallo Winery arm in Healdsburg is the honorary vintner chair.” Click for the full article in the Press Democrat.

photo by Conner Jay

 

Notes from Durae:

It was such fun to participate in Sonoma Wine Country Weekend with the girl & the fig, and awe-inspiring to experience the best of what so many of Sonoma’s growers, producers, chefs and vintners had created.  What a pleasure to hear winemakers speak with such love and pride for their vines, this land, and the wines that have come from it.  So many of them have been working the land they do for generations and to share their very best efforts brings them obvious joy.

Even more gratifying is to know that a portion of the proceeds from wine country weekend, most significantly from the Sunday auction, will benefit local charities, environmental protection and sustainability efforts throughout the county, as well as literacy programs for children.

On that note, according to the Wine Institute of California, Sonoma County leads the pack in sustainability practices in winemaking.  More than 250 Sonoma County wineries and grape growers participate in the statewide Code of Sustainable Winegrowing practices, a voluntary self-assessment program designed to ensure proper care of the land.  It is worth noting that pesticide use in Sonoma County has declined every year since 1997, despite the fact that grape acreage has increased dramatically.  Well done, Sonoma!

To put such effort into your work, to be gratified with sharing the end result, and in the end being able to give back in a meaningful way, is a pleasure.

Samuel Johnson  said, “bounty always receives part of its value from the manner in which it is bestowed.”  So, kudos to Sondra and John and all of those who made Sonoma Wine Country Weekend a success!  I hope that you all enjoyed SWCW, this beautiful place we call home, and the food and wine that is made here.

Cheers!

 


During September and October, we will be donating $1 from every dish sold to the JBF Taste America education drive when you order a Basil Panisse Cake (tomato coulis, cherry tomatoes, marinated feta, mizuna).

 

Très Bonnes Années

We are excited to have our seventh vintage of our Rockpile Syrah available for your drinking pleasure. This year, Jeff Cohn  from JC Cellars only made one barrel for us, which is half of what we normally make. I’m sure we will fly through it!  We will offer it by the bottle and by the glass for a short time.

 

Gourmand’s Grater
You must take a look at this incredible new invention that you can help turn into a reality! Click to watch the video in the campaign page on indiegogo to see what it is all about! Very COOL!

 

the farm project
TOMATO TALK
Visit the farm blog to see what’s growing on. Our friend, Anne Abrams updates the Blog weekly and we absolutely love this City Girl’s take on the farm.
You probably know that I am determined to try anything FIG at least once! So when I spied Mahia, a new distilled spirit made from figs, I had to give it a taste.

The team took it seriously and between Jason, Brian and Chef Jeremy they created a new take on an old classic – the Rusty Nail becomes a French Manicure at the girl & the fig. The cocktail is made up of Mahia, Drambuie, Muddled fresh figs, cream over ice. We are featuring this on our Dessert Menu! Let me know how you like it.

August 2013

August 2, 2013
by

Happy 16 year anniversary to us!

August 22, 1997 is when this joyride began!

Obadiah Hunter
After his art show at the Sunflower Caffe earlier this summer, Obadiah approached us about hanging a show at the girl & the fig. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option since we’ve given the walls to our resident artist, Julie Higgins, but I loved his work so much that I decided to commission some paintings to use in a few retail applications. Here are just a couple of the scenes.
Suite D

Inspired by Obadiah’s magical paintings of the girl & the fig, we created a new canvas for Suite D. Fun and funky, depicting the bar, this is just one of the 5 different canvas options that are available when designing your party.
Click on the image below to read our guests’ reviews on Trip Advisor and then Click the cityeats logo to make your reservations!

        

Here is a sneak peak at some of the fun fall articles
from the Williams-Sonoma blog.
Wine Country Road Trip
Wine Country Spotlight: Sondra Bernstein
Discover Wine Country
Wine Country Map

Summer Weddings

This year, our wedding business is bursting with couples in love. Nearly every weekend, we are booked with one, sometimes two, weddings in Wine Country. We are honored to have the privilege of preparing nuptial feasts for couples as far away as Colorado, New York and even South Korea. Among the many details leading up to the wedding, creating a special menu often happens during a tasting at Suite D. Being a part of these special events is really heartwarming and we know how important it is that we create a memorable meal.

This summer, we had a wedding that was much closer to home. We all send big congratulations to Managing Partner/Executive Chef John Toulze and his amazing bride Claudia on their recent marriage. Surrounded by family and close friends, John and Claudia had a beautiful ceremony in their backyard followed by a farm-to-table feast prepared by good friend Michael Johnson. Beautiful photographs taken by Megan Clouse, stunning floral arrangements by Anne Appleman and a yummy cake by our friends at Crisp Bake Shop topped off the evening. It was a beautiful day and a reminder of how important our role as a caterer is on special occasions.

The PopUp Dinner Wine Country

Saturday, October 19, 2013

SECRET WINE COUNTRY LOCATION

FOR TICKETS

MENUS – WINE LIST

More Info

OUR SUMMER PARTY
We were lucky enough to have our staff and their extended families join us at Jack London State Park last month for our annual party in appreciation of our employees and the hard work they do throughout the year. We had a delicious BBQ catered by our friends at Frank’s Texas BBQ, and were treated to an exciting dress rehearsal of the Fantastical Family Night by the amazing Transcendence Theatre Company. It was lovely to be able to watch the children smile, giggle and be in awe of the magical performance. Earlier in the day, families were able to take their kids to Howarth Park in Santa Rosa, where they rode the train, played in the Jump House, and got wet in the spouting water fountain. It was a great day!
Notes from Durae:

Summer is breezing by and if you haven’t already perused our chefs’ latest creations, you might like to have a glance at the menu, or, better yet, pay us a visit!  I recently hosted my sweet sister and her family from Juneau, and I can say that there’s no better way to find again your love for this season in Sonoma than to travel our back roads with an Alaskan! With an impromptu stop required at every market, farm, and roadside stand that we passed, I’ve sampled ripe cherries and apricots, cold-smoked salmon and raw oysters, crunchy carrots and sweet cloudberries, to name a few.

Besides the new potatoes, baby carrots, homemade apricot jam, and heirloom tomatoes that are gracing the menu from our own farm, you might have noticed the addition of some delectable locally caught salmon dishes. Fisherman Ray, of Bodega Bay (from whom we procure our salmon), is loving this year’s salmon season.  The hauls are ample, the fish and ocean healthy, and plump, pink salmon that were caught that morning are arriving in our kitchens.  Ray tells me that the bumper harvest we’re experiencing this season is due to the thick layers of krill in the waters that the salmon eat, imbibing the deep, red color that we know means a tasty salmon.

Our chefs are making use of those fresh fish in a house-smoked salmon dish, served with pickled beans, frisee, dill, fennel, and a farm egg vinaigrette, as well as a king salmon entree that is heavenly.  We love to know where our food comes from, and thought that you might like to learn a bit about it, too. And if you’re craving some locally-grown goodness, come see us at “the fig.”  I recommend traveling the scenic route.

Cheers!

the farm project


before


this week

Visit the farm blog to see whats growing on. Our friend, Anne Abrams updates the Blog weekly and we absolutely love this City Girl’s take on the farm.
HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEASON is HERE!
Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad
Serves 6

For the vinaigrette:
1 medium yellow tomato, blanched, peeled & seeded
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T champagne vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste

For the salad:
½ cup feta cheese
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 # seedless watermelon, rind removed, sliced into ½ x 2-inch rounds
2 # assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced into ½-inch pieces
2 T fresh oregano leaves, for garnish
Sea salt, for garnish

To prepare the vinaigrette:
Place the yellow tomato in a blender. On medium speed add the mustard and then the vinegar. Slowly add ½ cup of olive oil. Taste and season with salt and white pepper as needed and set aside.

In a separate bowl, crumble the feta and mix it with 3 tablespoons olive oil.

To serve:
Divide the heirloom tomato slices and the watermelon slices equally between 6 plates. When plating, alternate the slices and garnish with a bit of feta. Drizzle the vinaigrette over each portion and garnish with the oregano leaves. Add a touch of sea salt to the salad if desired.

 

Our Social Network
Here are some more ways to stay in the loop with everything that is going on with us.
On Pinterest, we gather inspiration for table-scapes and recipes for catering. New projects end up on a board identifying ideas that will be incorporated as we did with Suite D.

On Instagram, you will find snippets of daily life in Sonoma or on the road.

Each of the different entities has its own facebook page. Here we post pictures of changing menu items, cocktails, staffs, events, news and more.
FIGBOOK,
CAFEBOOK,
CATERSBOOK
SUITE D

What do we talk about on Twitter? Just about everything!

FIGtastic Celebrations
August
Fresno

August 9 – 10, 15 – 17
Dancing Through Life
Jack London State Park
Glen Ellen

August 24
Stephanie Cadman Trio
Jack London State Park
Glen Ellen

August 25
SF Bacon & Beer Festival
Fairmont Hotel
San Francisco

August 30-31
Gala Celebration
Jack London State Park
Glen Ellen

August 30
Sonoma Starlight
CATERED by the girl & the fig
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Geyserville

August 31
Taste of Sonoma
MacMurray Ranch
Healdsburg

September 1
Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction
Chateau St Jean
Kenwood

October 19
The PopUp Dinner – Wine Country
Secret Location
Wine Country

We keep our Public Event Calendar current with
new events as they are confirmed. Check the calendar or our Facebook page to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!

 

June Greetings from Sonoma

June 1, 2013
by
YES, CHEF!

Have you met Chef Jeremy?

Chef Jeremy just had his one year anniversary at the girl & the fig last month. He and John have been collaborating on some really wonderful menu items, including the chicken livers on toast, soft shell crabs served with pancetta aioli and his personal favorite of the moment, the Pork Belly Sandwich. (Yes, it is almost possible to gain weight just by reading this!) However, it is the seasonal ingredients and the farm that are still the driving the inspiration for the menu.

Here is a sneak peek behind the Chef — When he is not cooking for himself, he is a sucker for a cheap BUT GOOD burger (we’re not talking about fast food here): a thin patty, seared and topped with 1000 Island Dressing, Tabasco Sauce, iceberg lettuce, tomato, and (of course) BACON! However lowbrow his burger cravings may be, his beverages of choice are varied from dark beers to smooth rye whiskies and red Rhone blends. When he is not working, you can find Jeremy riding his motorcycle or snowboarding while listening to Pink Floyd and Bad Religion.We are lucky to have such a talented Chef on our team. The smile you see in the picture above is something I get to see all of the time!  Say hi to Chef Jeremy the next time you visit us!

  

Some of you may remember one of our past General Managers, Gary Saperstein, who worked with us for over 10 years. He has done an incredible job with his partner Mark Vogler in creating Out in the Vineyard. Their signature weekend event is coming up on June 14th and is almost sold out. Visit their website for a full list of activities and an opportunity to purchase tickets while they still last.

With the first day of summer and the last day of school quickly approaching, my thoughts have been a bit less on the present and more on the months ahead, and I’m finding it takes just a little more effort to pin them to the tasks at hand.  Summer has that effect sometimes.  It’s a busy time of year for most people in our little part of the world; whether summer to you means the heaviest of workloads or freedom and adventure, it’s certain that the coming season is filled with activity.The most interesting and challenging of my activities here at the fig head-quarters this month has been in exploring our smartphone app. (Did you know we have one?)  If you’re like me and have been dragged kicking and screaming into the world of constant technological contact, then plumbing the inner workings of a smartphone application sounds slightly less-than-appealing.  Not so!

One particularly fun and useful feature I found is this: Say your summer plans include enjoying a lovely glass of wine at the fig. Those from this area and afar might be interested in finding which of our wines were cultivated, tended, and brought to be within moments of where you’re sitting.  If you wanted to know just how quickly you’d be able jaunt up the road to its source to acquire the most delicious of souvenirs, nestled within the wine list app is a map to (nearly) all of the local wineries as well as a link to their tasting room pages.  Very handy!

For me, it can be at times overwhelming to consider the amount of information tech-nology makes available to us at every second, and I often wonder whether this is adding or taking from our ability to enjoy or be in the present moment. But then I think of the ways that this information can be used to enhance your enjoyment of the time at hand, and am amazed. And if it can be used to prolong those fleeting summer moments, so much the better.Cheers!

THINK PINK 
This summer, we are bringing you some of the best Rosé wines we can find. We are off to a good start (see below), and expect a few more additional selections as the heat rises.  You will also soon be able to order a Rosé wine flight at the girl & the fig.
Generally, Rosé wines are the perfect blend of a light, refreshing and delicate white wine with the tart berry flavors of a red. Rosé wines have the best of both worlds with a balanced mix of qualities of both red and white wines. The presence of low to mild tannins and a low acidity level and alcohol content allows for pairings with both the heavier, high protein dishes that would commonly be paired with reds and the lighter more delicate dishes that would be paired with whites. This summertime wine is frequently paired with meats and vegetables just off the grill, and is also a great accompaniment to salads and greens, poultry, seafood, and spicy dishes. Served chilled, Rosé is truly versatile and can be perfectly paired with almost anything.
Delicate, flavorfully sweet and beautifully balanced, rosé wines are a budding favorite among wine drinkers, and are becoming increasingly more recognized as a wine worthy of drinking regularly. With a  sophisticated range of flavors, intricate means of production and versatile potential, rosé wines present an exciting alternative to the wine drinker as a subtle, refreshing and innovative wine.

Schramsberg, 2008 Brut Rosé, North Coast.

Tavosa, 2012 Grenache Rosé, Sonoma County

Domaine de Nizas, 2012 Languedoc

Cochon, 2012 Old Vine Rosé, California

Campovida, 2012 Grenache Rosé, Mendocino County

Kivelstadt Cellars, 2012 Twice Removed, Loevitt Vineyard.

Envolve, 2012 Dragonsleaf, Sonoma Mountain

Artist Julie HigginsJulie has been a member of the FIG FAMILY for over ten years. She started showing her artwork in the revolving shows in Glen Ellen during the time when the girl & the fig was there. When we moved to Sonoma, she graciously came along with us.

Her imaginary, colorful, original art still graces our restaurant walls in both of our locations. Her original art and giclees are all for sale, and we can even make arrangements to ship the art to you.

Her artwork is also on the FIGfood labels and our Tres Bonnes Annees wine label. If you are visiting the Mendocino area this summer you may want to contact Julie for a Studio visit.

Studio Sale

Pastels, Paintings, Prints, and Notecards
Schedule a Studio Visit through August 2013.
Call Julie now to schedule a visit!
707.937.4707
Mendocino,CA 95460″Bella Fig” will find its place on the new vintage of Tres Bonnes Annees Rockpile Syrah which should be released in August.

 

If you were one of the lucky ones to get to see Broadway Under the Stars last summer at Jack London State Park, you already know that this is the hottest ticket in Wine Country and by now you probably already have your tickets!If not, make your reservations today because I have no doubt that each night will be a sell out!

The season starts  June 28 – 30, July 5 – 6 with “Fly Me To the Moon”. The second performance is the “Fantastical Family Night” on July 19 – 20. Additional shows run all the way through August 31st.

We are excited to partner with Transcendence Theater Company on their first weekend this year at Jack London State Park. We will bring our Wood-Fired Oven to prepare Toasty Meatball Sandwiches, Fire Roasted Half Chickens, Corn on the Cob. There will be more food options as well as some of our favorite wineries pouring their wine.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
Sonoma Starlight
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
the girl & the fig CATERS!
FOOD – WINE – CIGAR BAR – DANCING
PRIDE & JOY

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31
Taste of Sonoma
MacMurray Ranch
FOOD – WINE – EDUCATION – DEMOS – MARKETPLACENamed one of the “10 Best Wine and Food Events in the United States”

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Reservations
 via CityEats on our website
We keep our Public Event Calendar current with new events as they are confirmed. Check the calendar or our Facebook page to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!
The Toy Box
One of Sondra’s latest finds … 
What did I do with my favorite pictures from my recent trip to Vietnam? I found Artifact Uprising, a lovely company that is committed to detail with their calenders and books! Beautiful work, great prices and perfect for personal gifts.
  

May 2013

May 2, 2013
by

Karaoke & Motorbike Adventures in Vietnam and Other Stories

In the photographs below are images of my adventurous shipmates who sailed with me from Hong Kong to Singapore. We spent nine wonderful days aboard the Silverseas Silver Shadow. I could fill pages of at least a dozen newsletters with our experiences, but I will just give you a glimpse of our trip.

Early on in the journey and getting to know each other, dinner conversation was generally about food.  Where do you like to eat, what was your favorite meal, what was the weirdest thing you ever ate …We all were in agreement, especially by the end of the trip, that The BEST MEALS are the ones you eat with friends you enjoy!  That being said, we did our best to dine on traditional Vietnamese dishes whenever possible during the day and at night we dined on the Relais & Chateaux food at sea. I had my first taste of mangosteens, dragonfruit, (refused the Durian – though enjoyed by some of my shipmates), Longan fruit and more exotic looking specimens. On the ship, I had my fill of ripe papaya, melon and berries everyday.

On our first drive to Hanoi, (what should have taken 3 1/2 hours took closer to 5), we gazed out of the van windows and had our first glance of Vietnam.During the the five hours of changing scenery, we watched the population go by us on motorbikes, we saw rice fields and water buffalo, palm trees, food stands – carts every few feet and many, many people.Gail started pointing out the Karaoke Clubs, which there were many, seem-ingly deserted but with big welcoming signs beckoning for singers to come in. Karaoke in imagin-ation stayed with us for the week, but not once were we able to partake – and that was not without trying.
          8624037450_2539fb3404_oc437039e63c0

Prior to leaving for Asia, I discovered HanoiKids Club, a student-run organization that recruits university students to offer voluntary city tours of Hanoi while practicing their English. I made arrangements for two students to meet us for a “Food, Photo and Fun Tour”.

 

Excited to guide an American group, our lovely docents Lien and Huong took command and first off taught us how to cross the street in Hanoi – BE FEARLESS!  When asked where to? what would you like to see? – the only obvious choice was FOOD!  Take us to your favorite places. And they did, starting with their GO TO  spot for noodles. Later in the day, they luckily saved us from taking some risky tastes at some questionable street food stands. The tour continued to the big food market, their college hangout for chè (a traditional Vietnamese dessert soup or pudding) and a very long walk around the lake. This day was one of the highlights of the week and the only downside was that we did not have enough time to spend with them!

 

Our next adventure was a road trip to Hoi An, a few hours west of our port in Chan May/Hue. The old section of Hoi An still maintains its character of a quaint, ancient historical town preserved from centuries ago. This was the destination for our next food adventure. Morning Glory Cooking School  came highly recommended and was well worth the ride to get there.  We started out with a visit to the market, where we were introduced to a wide assortment of exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs. Back at the school, our class was taught by Lulu, one Ms Vy’s assistants, who did an excellent job. Here we learned how to make rice paper rolls with pork, prawns and noodles as well as a lovely salad with mango and marinated BBQ chicken. After class we indulged in our efforts as well as tasting some other traditional Hoi An preparations.
Not sure about the rest of the gang, but our motorbike tour of Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon will never be forgotten!  XO Tours is an innovative company that offers various themed motorbike tours of the city. I selected the “Foodie Tour” at night hoping that we would be able to see and taste the most unique street food with a reliable expert. The all-women drivers arrived dressed in their traditional Ao Dai  and they whisked us through the heavily populated streets stopping at one amazing street vendor after another.All in all, it was a great trip – certainly a change in my normal routine. Are you tempted to come on a trip with me?  If so – where would you consider going?? Shoot me an email and let me know!

A special thanks to Michael and his team at Millennium Travel!  I am grateful to have such a wonderful travel partner.

 

 

NEW WEBSITE FOR CATERS!

 

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30
Sonoma Starlight
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
the girl & the fig CATERS!
AL FRESCO – FOOD – WINE – PRIDE & JOY – CIGAR BAR 
SATURDAY, AUGUST 31
Taste of Sonoma
MacMurray Ranch

FOOD – WINE – EDUCATION – DEMOS – MARKETPLACE

Named one of the “10 Best Wine and Food Events in the United States”

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1st
Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction
Chateau St Jean
The Toy Box
Some of Sondra’s latest favorites … 
A sure sign that spring is in full bloom is when the Strawberry Farm on Watmaugh Road opens. We simply can not get enough of these incredible berries. NEVER have I tasted better!
Bottle Rock 2013
May 9 – 12
Napa Valley
 

MOTHER’S DAY
the girl & the fig
the fig cafe & winebar
May 12

 

Project Ahimsa
Sonoma Sessions

May 18
Healdsburg

 

Cooking for Solutions
Monterey Bay Aquarium
May 18
Monterey

 

Cooking Class 
with Chef Bryan Jones
Ramekins
May 23
Sonoma

 

Broadway Under the Stars
Jack London State Park
Glen Ellen

We keep our Public Event Calendar current with new events as they are confirmed.
Check the calendar or our Facebook page to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!
Get something FIGGY for Mom
Order today for Mother’s Day Presents!

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

Lots more at the FIGSTORE

We are getting ready to COOK, ROCK and ROLL.
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES
Joe Matos St George,  MANO FORMATE HAM
several versions to choose from(including one on gluten free bread)
May 9 – May 12
If you like Rock & Roll, Concerts, Food and Wine – this is a Music Festival not to be missed!
Notes from our Intern, Durae:

It seems that summer has arrived early this year, and with the gorgeous weather comes the bustle of the season in Sonoma County. After many years of heat infused and lackadaisical summers spent in Texas, the heightened activity in these parts still catches me by surprise.

This month, I was able to assist with the revamping and re-launching of our CATERS! website.  In case you’re wondering what fun offerings our talented chefs and catering staff have hatched for the summer, take a look here. (Spoiler: picnics, pizza parties, a brand new venue!). There are so many possibilities for enjoying all this lovely region offers this time of year, and celebrating the flavors of the season with food and wine is (I think) one of the best!

While working on the site, looking over new menus, studying beautiful wedding venues, and reading up on possible party ideas, I was inspired to take better advantage of all that surrounds us in wine country this summer. But with the excitement of the season coming on, events to plan and prepare for, visitors to anticipate, planting, gard-ening, and harvesting to attend to, there’s a certain feeling that it might all fly by too quickly—so amidst all the activity, I’ll have to slow down to a southern-summer pace once in a while…or, at least, try.

Happy almost-summer, everyone!
If you were one of the lucky ones to get to see Broadway Under the Stars last summer at Jack London State Park, you already know that this is the hottest ticket in Wine Country and by now you probably already have your tickets!If not, make your reservations today because I have no doubt that each night will be a sell out!

The season starts  June 28 – 30, July 5 – 6 with “Fly Me To the Moon”. The second performance is the “Fantastical Family Night” on July 19 – 20. Additional shows run all the way through August 31st.

We are excited to partner with Trancendence Theater Company on their first weekend as we will bring our Wood-Fired Oven up to Jack London State Park to prepare Toasty Meatball Sandwiches smothered in cheese and sauce and Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob.  There will be more food options as well as some of our favorite wineries pouring their wine.
Reservations

The internet has changed many things including the way we make restaurant reservations.  We are excited to announce that we are transitioning over to CityEats, a new platform presented by the Food Network.  Already in Miami, Washington DC, Phoenix , and a few more areas, the CityEats website for the San Francisco Bay Area/Wine Country is scheduled to launch later this year.

For the OpenTable members that have been making reservations through OpenTable, you will still be able to do this for a few weeks — but as soon as CityEats website launches in our area, our presence on Opentable will be minimal and we encourage you to make reservations via CityEats on our website.

April 2013

April 1, 2013
by

Adventures with Mack the Knife in the Rhone Valley and Other Stories

The Decouvertes has such a fond place in our hearts that it is almost like going home when we visit the Rhone Valley every other year.  This March was no different.  Two years went by quite quickly, but upon arrival it seemed like we were just there last week.
This year, we got to meet a precious new baby girl and received the news that another winemaker friend has one on the way. We were lucky to be in attendance to a rockin’ band that headlined Yves Gangloff, Pierre Jean Villa and Paul in contrast to a 12+ person Horn Band playing Rugby Songs (I think). We made our pilgrimage to the Vahlrona Chocolate Factory Store in Tain Hermitage (I think they saw us coming)! Pastis reemerged with the question, “why I don’t drink this on a regular basis?”
To put this event in perspective, imagine — every day for four days straight –going to a party where over 50 amazing winemakers are pouring your favorite wines,  and long tables are filled with the most decadent spread of French cheeses, pates, crudites, bread, and desserts. Heaven!  Add another layer of activity at night: dinners, parties, singing Mack the Knife, and conversation. Okay – you may think I am boasting about the decadence of this trip – but seriously, this is hard work and it must get done!
 1. Vicki & Howard Carroll 2. Sondra & Phillipe Cambie 3. Yves Gangloff 4. Vicki, Howard, John Lancaster, Sondra, John 5. Yves Cuilleron & Baby Ysia
NEWS ALERT!!!! Amazing Flea Market Finds in Lyons Les Puces du Canal. A must do when visiting Lyons – AWESOME – could have spent all day there.
Plats du Jour – the theme of our last cookbook and our weekly menus – continues to inspire me in France. Such an important way of eating and the opportunity to taste the Chef’s newest creations and the best of the season.
Black Truffles on Toast
One last word (two words) FOIE GRAS
For more pictures from our recent trip click here!
Notes from our Intern, Durae:

I was able to spend a lot of time this month working on updating the girl & the fig’s website to include new retailers carrying our fig food line of goodies.  It was amazing to me to see how far and wide our fig products travel!  Across the country, the girl & the fig can be found in off-the-beaten-path locales to downtown urban hubs.  Locations vary from rural mom and pop shops like Valley Shepherd Creamery, sheep ranchers who cave-age their cheeses and proudly define their endeavors as “an experiment that defies U.S. ‘big food’ traditions,” to historic urban neighborhoods like Seattle’s Pike Place or New York’s Flatiron District, where Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is found.In the bigger scope of things, what makes me happy is to realize that there are so many people out there who love good food.  And not just that, but who care about their food, where it comes from, what’s in it, and whether it’s made with care and goodwill.  We’re blessed in Sonoma County to live amongst farmers and artisans and crafters of good food–so much so, that it can be easy to take for granted.  It’s wonderful to see places all over the country supporting local producers and purveyors, and to see that people everywhere are supporting independents in a way that we all know matters on a scale both big and small.  Discovering these retailers also made me realize there are so many places out there that I’d like to go eat!  If I had my pick, I’d start in one of my most-loved towns: Austin, Texas.  Antonelli’s Cheese Shop looks divine…
We are getting ready to COOK, ROCK and ROLL. Not sure what we will be serving yet but we will keep you posted! If you like Rock & Roll, Concerts, Food and Wine – this is a Music Festival not to be missed!Listen to my Bottlerock Artist Playlist
Reservations
The internet has changed many things including the way we make restaurant reservations.  We are excited to announce that we are transitioning over to CityEats, a new platform presented by the Food Network.  Already in Miami, Washington DC, Phoenix , and a few more areas, the CityEats website for the San Francisco Bay Area/Wine Country is scheduled to launch later this year.CityEats will bring a new look to Restaurant Reservations. The website itself is full of content and luscious looking food photography. You can also readabout the CityEats Rewards plan where you can earn giftcards to Amazon and itunes or even donate your loyalty dollars to Share our Strength.For the OpenTable members that have been making reservations through OpenTable, you will still be able to do this for a few months — but as soon as CityEats website launches in our area, our presence on Opentable will be minimal and we encourage you to make reservations via CityEats on our website.

SAVE THE DATE & SIGN UP TODAY

Cooking Class Thursday, May 23rd Chef Bryan Jones the fig cafe & winebar~MENU~ Bryan’s White Sangria Quinoa Salad, Sweet 100’s, Roasted Poblano Chile & Queso Fresco Guacamole Taquero, Chips Grilled Corn, Cumin Butter Highway 12 Grilled Chicken, Tomato & Serrano Chile Salsa Coconut Tapioca Pudding, Grilled Pineapple & Toasted Coconut
Bottle Rock 2013 May 9 – 12 Napa ValleyMOTHER’S DAY the girl & the fig the fig cafe & winebar May 12
Cooking for Solutions Monterey Bay Aquarium May 18 Monterey
Cooking Class  with Chef Bryan Jones Ramekins May 23 Sonoma
Broadway Under the Stars Jack London State Park Glen Ellen  Many dates to choose from starting in June.
DO NOT MISS SEEING ONE OF THESE SHOWS if you are going to be in Sonoma this summer.
We keep our Public Event Calendar current with new events as they are confirmed. Check the calendar or our Facebook page to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!
The Toy Box Some of Sondra’s latest favorites …
It took some old friends visiting from the East Coast to introduce me to the beautiful Sonoma Overlook Trail. Funny as I get ready to set sail across the world, they guided me on a lovely hike in my own backyard. ~ forkly.com – post your favorite food pictures and find other yummy dishes near you
~ During my trip in France I started reading an inspirational book called,“The Monk who Sold His Ferrari” Since I am only half way through I can only halfway recommend it. ~ Ever want to publish your own magazine?  Here are 2 options: MAGCLOUD – physical magazine & online version FLIPBOARD  – online app for iphone and ipadHAVE A GREAT MONTH!

March 2013

March 1, 2013
by

PIZZA!  

  

Did you know that we have a MOBILE WOOD FIRED PIZZA OVEN?

Even though we are no longer creating pizzas at ESTATE, you can still have them at your own catered event thanks to a fantastic custom oven on wheels that we recently purchased. Chef John has perfected our pizza dough, and not only are we able to make our pizza and flatbreads, we have also created a handful of DESSERT PIZZAS: Nutella, Bananas & Walnuts, Caramel Apple & Sea Salt, S’mores, and more to come!

Do you see a Pizza Party in your future? Pizza Buffets can cost as little as $20 per person, which includes four pizza choices for two hours ($750 minimum within a 15 mile radius). Call us at the girl & the fig CATERS! (933-3667) for more info and to reserve your date!

March 18 – March 24
RESTAURANT WEEK MENUS

the girl & the fig
$29

Wild Mushroom Fricassee, Gremolata, Grilled Bread
Game Hen Roulade, Gnocchi, Leeks, Green Garlic Pistou
Meyer Lemon Trifle, Candied Zest

the fig cafe & winebar
$19

Café Caeser Salad
Prosciutto & Petit Agour Stuffed Chicken Breast, Piquillo Pepper- Caramelized Onion Polenta, Braised Greens
Persimmon cake, Caramel Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream

Notes from our Intern, Durae:

I feel very fortunate to be interning with the girl & the fig this semester.  I was first drawn to the girl & the fig by the sweet memories I had of eating at the café with my family years ago. Having since moved half-way across the country and back again, I’ve found myself drawn again and again to my love of farming and all things food.  I’m currently attending SRJC, studying business administration and as many farming classes as I’m able. The challenge of fusing my more practical nature with the pursuits I enjoy most was met perfectly when I was given the opportunity to join the girl & the fig’s business office this semester.

I’ve catered with the girl & the fig for the past year and am always impressed by the very high standards of this group. To me, the best satisfaction is to be found in a job well done, and I’m learning something new each day I work with them.  Their passion for food, not only its preparation but also its story, reflects the care that goes into every aspect of their work.  It’s a terrific experience to view the operation from so many angles–the meticulous planning and execution of catering, the constant attention to detail in the office, the creativity and skill of the chefs, and the teamwork that goes into it all is amazing and an education in itself to me.  My next hope—to do some work on the farm!

 

March seems to be the month of all things Rhone!  Definitely one of our favorite places to visit, wine to drink and food & wine events to attend. This year is no different. We hope that you can join us for an amazing weekend with some of our favorite talented winemakers!

16th Annual Rhone Rangers Weekend
San Francisco

Friday, March 22

Fifteen-Winery Winemaker Dinner & Live Auction
the girl & the fig CATERS will be cooking dinner!

6 pm – 9 pm

Saturday, March 23
Seminars 10 – 12:45
Grand Tasting and Silent Auction
Trade Tasting 1 – 3      Consumer Tasting 3 – 6

See what wineries will be there!

 

 

 

 

Good Press: Press Democrat Review by Jeff Cox
Feb 15, 2013

We are so thankful that we get to add a little bit of our own fig-experience to each of our guests’ time in Sonoma, whether it be one of our favorite locals or a visitor just passing through. The good words that we receive from time to time in response to that experience make the hard work we do that much sweeter and all the more worth it.

We are happy to share with you a recent review we received from Jeff Cox with the Press Democrat, which along with some kind words has some gorgeous pictures. We hope to see you soon for your own fig-experience!
“To sum up: As Chef John Toulze keeps developing his skill, the food at this now-famous restaurant just keeps getting better.”
For the whole review and pictures

SWEET TOOTH!

       

Some things are just too good to stay away forever. We are excited to relaunch our new and improved FIG CARAMEL SAUCES. Made for us by our friends at The King’s Cupboard in Montana, these caramel sauces are good enough to eat out of the jar, but we can also think of oh so many good things to use it on.

Organic Apples, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Cookies, Hot Fudge Sundaes …

Coming soon to our website, to your favorite gourmet food stores (hopefully!) and available for tasting at the girl & the fig soon.

 This is me dreaming about my motorbike Night Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City!

VIETNAM CRUISE
LAST CHANCE!

There are still cabins available on my Silversea Cruise going to the South China Sea.

CALL TODAY

831-659-0151

  

the farm project

Even though it is only the end of February, it feels like spring. After weeks of amending the soil and working on the pathways and rows, we are busy planting the following items:
fava beans, carrots, green garlic, radishes, potatoes, chard, herbs, strawberries, lavender …

We would love for you to stop by and see the farm anytime!
Imagery Estate Winery
14335 Highway 12 – Glen Ellen

If you don’t have time to visit, follow along with the weekly farm blog!

Sonoma Valley Sharecropper Pickling Spices

If you are thinking about pickling some vegetables this year, why not try our Sonoma Valley Sharecropper Pickling Spices. Three different blends for a variety of different vegetables. Our spices are available at our webstore, the girl & the fig and at Williams-Sonoma.

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